Women’s Draw: US Open 2012 Preview and Analysis

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The final grand slam of 2012 is just around the corner and in a few days the WTA’s top players will descend upon Flushing Meadows in New York to compete for the U.S. Open Title.  The women’s singles draw and just been released and looks to set up some tantalizing matchups to end the grand slam season.

Top Half
Seeded first and sitting at the top of the draw is Victoria Azarenka.  The Belarusian bronze medalist has a straightforward run to the 4th round, where she could meet 16th seeded Sabine Lisicki who has taken Azarenka to 3 sets in each of their previous matches.  Last year’s champion Samantha Stosur sits in the same part of the draw as Azarenka, but will probably have to get through either Li Na (9) or Kim Clijsters (23) first.  A Li/Clijsters 3rd round clash is sure to be one of the early matches to look out for on the women’s side of the tournament.

Also in the top half of the draw are Maria Sharapova (3) and Petra Kvitova (5).  It what appears to be the easiest quarter of the draw, the two grand slam champions are on a collision course for the 4th routh.

Bottom half
Seeded 9th, Caroline Wozniacki caps the bottom half of the draw. Should she make it to the 4th round, the former world no. 1 could face a challenge in Ana Ivanovic (12) or Francesca Schiavone (22).  Also in Wozniacki’s quarter of the draw is evergreen Serena Williams who is the 4th seed.  Her path to the quarterfinals appears clear in what will be her quest for a 4th US open title.

As the 2nd seed, Agnieszka Radwanska sits at the bottom of the draw. She could play here sister Ursula in the 4th round. Aside from Agnieszka, Angelique Kerber is the highest ranked player in the bottom quarter of the draw, but will face a challenge early in the 2nd round where she is likely to play Venus Williams.

With so many WTA players in top form, there are a number of contenders for the title.  The top half is stacked with more of the higher seeded players and earlier-round matchups on this side will likely shape the draw early on.  Serena is a perennial favorite for the title and his coming off of her gold medal run at the Olympics.  She looks poised to go deep in the tournament this year, along with bigger hard court hitters like Sharapova and Azarenka.

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